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Summer and sport in Switzerland: historical posters in the APG|SGA eMuseum

06.07.20

For many visitors, Switzerland is the ideal destination for an exciting summer holiday, and the tourism industry is currently boosting anticipation of the great attractions our country has to offer with out of home campaigns. But a little nostalgia never hurts – that’s the maxim of the APG|SGA eMuseum. A virtual exhibition allows visitors to experience the charm of vintage posters, with a presentation featuring summer and sporting motifs from the last century.

Swiss tourism posters are globally sought-after collector’s items. No other country has presented its attractions with such high-impact designs. As sports such as mountaineering, golf and cycling became popular pastimes in the late 19th century, poster artists started to depict activity holidays for the first time. In the early 20th century, they were joined by traditional and widely accessible activities such as gymnastics, swimming and hiking. “Early posters are dominated by the distinctive artistic style of the designer, with vivid depictions of the sport in question. Over time a trend for graphic abstraction emerges, giving way to focus on a single detail. This is something we can see in Fridolin Müller’s bold poster for the Swiss shooting festival in 1963,” explains Dr Bettina Richter, curator of the poster collection at the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich. 

Panorama of poster art 
The poster collection at the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich is one of the most important archives of its kind in the world. It contains around 350,000 objects, with about 120,000 digitally catalogued, all documenting the national and international history of the poster from its origins to the present day. From this pool, the APG|SGA eMuseum draws exhibits for its virtual exhibitions each quarter, which have provided financial and cultural support for the museum for years now. The diversity of historical, thematic and geographic subjects results in both a panorama of poster art and a glimpse into a visual archive of day-to-day life. 

Information
“Summer Sport Posters” exhibition at www.apgsga.ch/emuseum
Part of the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich’s poster collection is available to view in its online catalogue www.emuseum.ch